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Capitalist-Style Wealth Gap: 1 Tech Guy = 1,000,000 Teachers

#1

Capitalist-Style Wealth Gap: 1 Tech Guy = 1,000,000 Teachers

Paul Buchheit

As of 01/20/19, the richest six American tech leaders (Bezos, Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, Page, Brin) averaged over $80 billion in net worth. Meanwhile, the 25 million Americans just above the median, many of them teachers, have an average net worth of $78 thousand. That's a difference of a million times.

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#2

With the help of subsidies and tax gamesmanship Amazon has effectively become a private utility with monopolistic powers that span the country (continent?). Paging Teddy Roosevelt–Teddy to the service counter, tout de suite, s’il vous plaît.

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#3

I respect and like the intentions of this frequent CD author. But am afraid that in this article there is a bit too much emphasis on particular individuals, rather than the political system that allows them (or anyone) to control and design the system. Complicated topics, but it is not a particular economic system (be it capitalism or other) that is the sole responsible. It is the political system that makes the laws. And when that system represents the few…well we know what it’s name is. So, there is an issue of severe lack of democracy that is at the source, and that is skews the economic system in favor of cartels and monopolies.

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#4

Thanks Paul, numbers guy that you are.
But this thing of wanting, and wanting not from need, but just to have more than the other, has another name: “. . . and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5); is a rather disturbing evil ruling our nation.

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#5

Charter Schools are an excellent way for voters to determine if a politician is for the 99% or the 1%. The American public needs a list of Republicans and Democrats who support Charter Schools so that the voters can flush these corporate sycophants down the political toilet once and for all.
Evil sociopaths support Charter Schools as teachers take huge salary cuts so that Wall Street investors and increase their bottom line. Unions are prohibited and teachers are now involved in the proverbial capitalist race to the bottom. The children suffer with a poorer education and the gap between rich and poor widens. Yet corporate America and their minions in government give us endless rhetoric about how wonderful this toxic plan for educating our children is.
Other benchmarks to help voters determine if a politician is a corporate tool or whether they are actually in support of their fellow Americans are their basic position on issues such as universal healthcare, decreasing the military, ending corporate welfare, electoral reform such as banning gerry pandering, making all citizens vote and overturning ‘Citizens United’ and of course free college education. Too many Democrats and Republicans are coopted by wealthy interests so that they spout one set of promises to the 99% while pledging a secret allegiance to their corporate sponsors behind closed doors. We must therefore publicly shame them so as to expose the depth of corporate corruption.
As social media replaces the MSM (which has done an excellent job of forcing the 99% to ignore any political commentary from them), voters will have a chance to educate themselves better on how the wealthy interests subvert the public interest at every turn. No one cares about the latest lies Trump blurts out, yet the MSM gives us 24/7 Trump coverage at the expense of discussing poverty, global warming, universal healthcare, endless war, nuclear disarmament, human right abuses at home and abroad and other core issues that directly affect all of us.
The key now is organize a simple group that poses basic questions to each and every member of Congress and the Senate. An example would be… “Do you believe we should abolish the current healthcare system for a Canadian style single payer system?”… Once the politicians either waffles or declares their lack of support for such an obvious improvement for the 99%, we can quickly add that politicians name to the list of “enemies of the 99%” which we can then forward to everyone in that politicians district. The democracy movement must avoid any reference to Democrats versus Republicans and both party’s are inundated with corporate sycophants and voters must abandon the idea that one Party is better than the other. Only if a Party shows that the majority of politicians support such common sense initiatives such as the ‘Green New Deal’, can we begin the process of cleansing government of these evil people. This allows real Progressives to still join either Party while showing their constituents that they’re not just another lying politician on the corporate payroll and possibly even usher in a new crop of politicians who actually represent the 99%!
How’s the hashtag… NoMoreCorporatePoliticians# sound?

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#6

One of my favorite books on this topic is, “The Trouble With Billionaires” by Canadian authors Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks. It was published in the U.S. as “Billionaires’ Ball”. Super-wealthy people pose a direct threat to democracy because their excessive wealth enables them to buy politicians, who then lower taxes on the rich. They talk about how Bill Gates, among others, got their money.

Another book on this topic is “Born on Third Base” by Chuck Collins (an heir to the Oscar Meyer fortune, who gave his wealth away).

On a related note, Sam Pizzigati’s new book, “The Case For a Maximum Wage” proposes limiting income at the top to, say, 100 tuies the minimum wage. This gives the rich an incentive to advocate for a higher minimum wage.

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#7

It’s not that they’re tech guys. Typing code or futzing systems did not have that much to do with the money. This is part of the running deformity created by capital.

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#8

Nothing wrong with capitalism - it’s producing wealth just like it’s supposed to.

It’s the government that has let us down by not redistributing capitalism’s profits in a way that serves the common good.

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#9

Perhaps one day, we will have leaders who are neither business giants, nor politicians.
Looking for good in those two places is so often a mistake.
Narcissism and power over the lives of others is not a good combination.
Good people consider others.
Democracy can only be healthy when we act as if we are all in this together.

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#10

Flushing the parties of the Duopoly down the toilet where they belong, and supporting a truly progressive party dedicated to the betterment of Humanity and the People of this country, would be a great starting point in moving us towards a new world order of Peace and Love.

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#11

None of these examples were primarily “Tech Guys”, They were businessmen first, tech capable second. The headline is as wrong as the teachers outdated beliefs it represents.

It’s worth noting that of those who have gone through a formal education to get degrees in engineering, most of those who are good but not great at engineering quickly hit a glass ceiling that makes them switch to management and business, if they have any ambition at all.

That indicates to me that teachers are not teaching students with goals in mind beyond the short term. They are not preparing students for what is valued by the society that pays them to educate its young, not preparing students for what the students want to do. Like armies, they are preparing to fight a past war.

Teachers aren’t paid what teachers believe they are worth. Teachers are paid what society KNOWS teachers are worth. Teaching is a job like any other. Results matter, not beliefs, not intentions. What was important in the mid-twentieth century is not relevant today, and “educational systems” aka teacher’s unions, have not adapted as needs changed staring decades ago. Today they are at least a generation out of synch with reality.

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#12

We are not yet sufficiently enlightened to share the world’s abundance with all so we MUST now put limits on what income an individual can keep for personal use.
If we do not do this you can expect civil society to collapse.

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#13

what was important in the mid 20th century was deliberately dismantled through free trade agreements et al. … to destroy the middle and lower classes to benefit the ultra wealthy … just as it had been throughout most of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century before FDR.

its a political economy and no such distributions of wealth are a force of nature … they can be altered to benefit everyone

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#14

If theft - from the commons, from the working class - is the grease on the grinding wheels of capitalism

Then what is capitalism but organized crime?

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#15

LOL and Larry Ellison," wants to live forever, " per this article Maybe he should read Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray," and remember what Mark Twain said , “…every man over 40 is responsible for his own face.” : )

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#16

We still need people who are electable and have the correct experience and sense of caring for “the other.”

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#17

He wants to live forever? What a curse!

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#18

Do you support a welfare state? Remember society owes us nothing.

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#19

World average wealth per adult is $63,100, says Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, 2018. But 51.5% of humans live on $5 per day or less, says Pew Research – http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/07/08/a-global-middle-class-is-more-promise-than-reality/
Half of the world is surviving on about $7,300 a year for a family of four. That’s about 1/9th of the average wealth per adult. In the U.S. the poverty level for four person family is $25,000 about. So about 1/3rd of the poverty level is where of half of the world’s population is living. Is our economic system benefitting the world’s population? No. Yes the gains have occurred since 2000 or 1950, but are they appreciable gains, or are most still mired in a very poor life? Yes.

Two parents in a 4 person family would mean an average wealth of $126,200, and yet $7,300 a year is all the resources half of humanity have to get through the year. Credit Suisse reports, page 18, in year 2000 median wealth per adult was $1,494, and average wealth per adult was $31,381 – a ratio 1 to 21. By 2017 median wealth per adult was $4,209, and average was $63,100 – a ratio of 1 to 15. This is good, but One to Fifteen is still terrible. That means that half have less than 1/15th of the average of all. And still 60% of the world’s adults own less than $2,100, see page 117. Digesting all these figures is difficult, the primary idea is --most humans on the planet are benefitting very little from modern progress. - Thanks for the article Paul B.

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#20

Yes i support a welfare state … who says society owes nobody else nothing?

social security, medicare those are all social democratic programs … they need to be expanded in my opinion

Run Bernie Run

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